December 14, 2016

Can you clear government’s cloud hurdles?

Lloyd McCoy, Marketing Intelligence Manager

 

By Lloyd McCoy
Market Intelligence DOD Manager
immixGroup, an Arrow Company

 

Talk to government leaders about their cloud adoption efforts and you’ll hear a recurring message: They need help from industry.

Moving to the cloud has been a bigger challenge than expected as summed up by Office of the DOD CIO cloud lead Robert Vietmeyer, who spoke at immixGroup’s recent Cloud Briefing and Government Panel: “This stuff is hard. Leadership is bought into your marketing pitch,” he told attendees, largely representing cloud providers. “We all want better, faster, cheaper. We just found it’s more difficult to get from where we are today to where we all want to be.”

Three Ways Government Leaders Say Industry Can Start Helping

  1. Get certified: NASA web services executive Roopangi Kadakia says industry needs to get their people cloud security certified. There are so few with cloud security expertise in government, civilian, and private sectors that she’s excited when she finds one person who’s certified. “Think about the fact that if you really want to get into the game, invest in your folks,” she says. “There are enough nuances that you really do want the folks who can say and speak at a level that will help people.” Kadakia also spoke of NASA’s cloud migration strategy.
  2. Figure out how to pay for it: Vietmeyer said the cloud was supposed to be treated like a utility, but leaders haven’t figured out how to transition a lot of their infrastructure to a fee-for-service use. “We don’t want the rest of the enterprise paying for one customer’s use,” he explained. Some agencies are taking incremental steps and finding out what’s possible with fee-for-service models…until the next road block. Vietmeyer says he’d love some ideas from industry on solving the problem.
  3. Solve the biggest tech challenges: As the Navy moves to cloud solutions, it wonders what to do with capabilities that are so outdated that they can’t be reengineered. The service has to start from new and it’s looking to industry to help figure out that challenge. More specifically, the service wants to analyze its applications, who’s using them and why. Those applications with no output or value will have to be killed. One of the challenges facing the Air Force, says CTO Frank Konieczny, is making data loss prevention work in the cloud, especially with securing mobile apps. The service created a mobility panel “just to discuss how we’re going to go forward with mobility from a secure, access control realm for the Air Force,” Konieczny says. “Because the Air Force has a disjointed view right now.”

Conclusion

Federal agencies are motivated to move more of their applications to the cloud, but they need solution providers to help change procurement laws, provide more cloud security expertise that’s lacking both in industry and government, and solve some of the tech challenges holding back cloud adoption. Want to hear more from immixGroup’s Cloud Briefing and Government Panel? View video clips of the highlights or watch the full briefing and panel here.

BIO Lloyd McCoy Jr. is a Market Intelligence Department of Defense manager with immixGroup (an Arrow company), which helps technology companies do business with the government. Lloyd focuses on DOD agencies and cybersecurity. Need help identifying top IT decision makers and opportunities in government? Contact immixGroup’s industry-leading Market Intelligence team today.